The Annals of Statistics

Efficient multivariate entropy estimation via $k$-nearest neighbour distances

Thomas B. Berrett, Richard J. Samworth, and Ming Yuan

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Abstract

Many statistical procedures, including goodness-of-fit tests and methods for independent component analysis, rely critically on the estimation of the entropy of a distribution. In this paper, we seek entropy estimators that are efficient and achieve the local asymptotic minimax lower bound with respect to squared error loss. To this end, we study weighted averages of the estimators originally proposed by Kozachenko and Leonenko [Probl. Inform. Transm. 23 (1987), 95–101], based on the $k$-nearest neighbour distances of a sample of $n$ independent and identically distributed random vectors in $\mathbb{R}^{d}$. A careful choice of weights enables us to obtain an efficient estimator in arbitrary dimensions, given sufficient smoothness, while the original unweighted estimator is typically only efficient when $d\leq 3$. In addition to the new estimator proposed and theoretical understanding provided, our results facilitate the construction of asymptotically valid confidence intervals for the entropy of asymptotically minimal width.

Article information

Source
Ann. Statist., Volume 47, Number 1 (2019), 288-318.

Dates
Received: June 2017
Revised: November 2017
First available in Project Euclid: 30 November 2018

Permanent link to this document
https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.aos/1543568589

Digital Object Identifier
doi:10.1214/18-AOS1688

Subjects
Primary: 62G05: Estimation 62G20: Asymptotic properties

Keywords
Efficiency entropy estimation Kozachenko–Leonenko estimator weighted nearest neighbours

Citation

Berrett, Thomas B.; Samworth, Richard J.; Yuan, Ming. Efficient multivariate entropy estimation via $k$-nearest neighbour distances. Ann. Statist. 47 (2019), no. 1, 288--318. doi:10.1214/18-AOS1688. https://projecteuclid.org/euclid.aos/1543568589


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Supplemental materials

  • Supplement to “Efficient multivariate entropy estimation via $k$-nearest neighbour distances”. Auxiliary results and remaining proofs.